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Worried your baby will choke during mealtime?

When babies start eating solids there is always a chance that they will choke or suffocate. Choking and suffocating usually to happen more at a young age. That’s because until the age of 6 months the Pharyngeal reflex is located in a very frontal part of the baby’s mouth. 

Babies that are Baby Led Weaned are at a lower risk to choke than babies are spoon-fed. Eating is a skill we need to learn and master – the sooner the baby practices this, the better.

To reduce the risk of choking - follow the following safety measures:

  • Know the difference between choking and suffocation:

Suffocation

Dramatic and loud  – the baby will cough and jump in his chair. It happens pretty often during a meal. Suffocation is a defense mechanism against choking. It means that your baby has great reflexes.

Signs:

  1. A child will open his mouth and thurst tongue forward.
  2. Baby’s will turn bright red.
  3. The baby might sputter, cough or both.
  4. The baby will look frustrated rather than afraid.

Choking

Very quiet because the infant can’t talk or breath. The baby’s fingers, lips, and skin turn blue from lack of oxygen.

Signs:

  1.  The baby may begin coughing in an attempt to clear air passage.
  2. In severe cases, the infant may lose consciousness.
  • Supervision: pay close attention to your baby during mealtime. Pay attention to choking signs: put your phone aside and make sure not to look at it. Reduce distractions as much as possible: put baby’s toys from the feeding area, try your best to not bring new faces to mealtime – especially when he’s starting the BLW process.  
  • Support: when starting BLW, make sure your infant can support his neck. A high chair can help his posture and enable him to spit food instead of choking from it. The baby should be seating vertically and not lean forward. Also, a foot rest will supply more stability and will create less of a distraction.
  • Foods shape and size: the baby’s food shouldn’t be small or round because it can get stuck in his throat. It should be cut into small sticks a bit longer than the baby’s hand. Also, cook solid foods to be tender and easy to chew.
  • Babies CPR: babies CPR teaches us what to do in case of choking. Make sure all of your baby’s caregivers take this course before being a part of the baby’s feeding.
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